FLORIDA ROAD TRIP. Much more than sun and sand

by | Sep 28, 2018 | maps, travel

If the United States has anything that I love, it is the variety of places to visit. You can either spend a summer surrounded by snow or celebrate Christmas Eve wearing a t-shirt and shorts.
Today’s road trip will take us to the second destination, because if you have to spend Christmas away from home, where better than near the sea?

That’s how the idea of a road trip around Florida started. But don’t get confused, because it was very far from being a relaxing trip of sun and beach… It was 11 days where there were unforgettable moments, theme parks, lots of nature and, of course, architecture.

Going around the Sunshine State from Orlando to Miami

Florida may seem an unappealing place for architecture lovers. But wait!, because I found some jewels that I had never heard of.
Do you recognize names like Marcel BreuerFrank Lloyd Wright or Santiago Calatrava? It wasn’t until I started to prepare the trip that I found out that they all had very interesting works in the Sunshine State.

If you like architecture and are thinking of visiting Florida, this guide may be useful.  
As in the previous routes I have published, I do not want to bore you with the details of our trip. To make the visit easier and enjoyable, I have prepared an interactive map very easy to use. If you want to know a little better how this map works, you can check the Le Corbusier Route guide. There you will find how to make the most of it [see here].

Tips for an unforgettable trip

Leaving aside architecture for a moment, one of the highlights of the trip was a visit to the Space Agency NASA. The big surprise came when we witnessed the launch of a rocket into space. Yes, you read well… a rocket! An Atlas V, to be more accurate.
Even today, I find it hard to believe how lucky we were. You can see the video at the end of the post [it is not the best video ever, but it was mine… and given that I did not look through the camera, it is more meritorious 😉 ].
If you decide to visit NASA, do not forget to check their rocket launches calendar.

But besides having the most famous space agency in the world, Florida has a spectacular flora and fauna. We could see from crocodiles and alligators, to endearing and nice manatees. Of course, all this surrounded by unbeatable landscapes. Do not forget that Florida has one of the most famous parks in the USA, the Everglades National Park.

One last tip: go see wild dolphins in Captiva Island [Captiva Cruises]. It was one of the funniest moments in our trip.

Our Road Trip through Florida

Finally, here you have the list of places on our Road Trip through Florida. Besides all the Architectural Visits we did, I have also included the cities where we stayed overnight and points of interest. I hope this will help you organize your vacation and you can enjoy it as much as we did.

Architectural Visits in Florida Road Trip

  • Orlando Public Library, Orlando [John M. Johansen]
  • Florida Southern College, Lakeland [Frank Lloyd Wright]
  • IST Building at Florida Polytechnic University [Calatrava]
  • The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg [HOK]
  • PAMM, Miami [Herzog & de Meuron]
  • New World Center, Miami [Frank Gehry]
  • Faena Forum, Miami [OMA]
  • Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Miami [Pelli]
  • One Thousand Museum, Miami [Zaha Hadid]
  • Art Deco Historic District, Miami
  • Design District, Miami
  • IBM Campus, Boca Raton [Marcel Breuer]

Points of Interest

Main cities [overnight]

  • Orlando
  • St. Petersburg
  • Fort Myers
  • Miami

If you finally decide to visit Florida, I will love hearing from you and your road trip!
Now, I leave you with the launch of the Atlas V that I had promised before. Don’t you want to be an astronaut after watching it?


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Helena Ariza | Architect, passionate about photography and traveling. My purpose is to take you on a journey to the best architectural works.



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